Okay so for my equestrian team, we have to carry our school flag in for grand entry. There are three meets throughout the year. Last year, I carried the American flag (O.O I tried to say it was a bad idea but they wouldn't let me back out) and that was a disaster. The run around during the anthem was okay but at the end when the crowd cheered, Rebel RAN sideways away from the stands and into the line of other horses and their riders (carrying school flags)
The next time I went inside just carrying my school flag and he was constantly leaning away from the stands towards the others again, and spooks when the crowd cheers. The third time I got my other friend to ride in with me and block him from running sideways. He was instantly better when he had a friend.
But this year, I don't have any other teammates. It's just me, and my coach isn't allowed to ride in with me. I mean, he's not going to spook and buck me off or anything, but I'm scared he's going to bolt or run off with me in the arena or run into another horse that'll kick or spook or knock somebody else off in front of the entire population of athletes, coaches, parents....
But I absolutely CANNOT back out of grand entry. Last time I tried, I got a major earful from the director of the event....She was really mean about it. When I carried the american flag, she told me "I don't care if you break your neck, you will NOT drop that flag." .....Well I'm sorry, but if my horse spooks and tries to flip himself inside out I'm chucking the flag and saving myself, I don't care if the flag is blessed by god himself!
Anyway....I know I have some time before the first meet, but there is no other event where I can get in that arena with the crowd like that, and I'm really nervous. He's an angel in that arena with the flag when there's no screaming, yelling, shouting people above him....And the arena is completely enclosed, so everything is a MAJOR echo.
I'm just wondering if any of you have been in a siliar situation and how you handled it. I'm trying to find another horse (My friends rodeo Queen horse to be exact) since there's nothing I can really do to prepare him beforehand. I literally have no other enclosed areas with loud noises. He's fine with crowds in open, non-echoing areas.